Maybe you’re brand new to streaming and don’t have the money for a webcam yet but you realize how important it is to have a facecam…
maybe your webcam dies on you one night while streaming and you want to be prepared with a backup option for the next time…
maybe you want to add a second angle with a second camera to your livestream?
Whatever your reason, this video will show you how to turn your smartphone into a webcam!
You’ll be able to use it just as you would any normal webcam and add it inside any streaming program like OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS.
I’ll also show you exactly how to do it step by step and the best software I’ve found for both Android and Apple devices!
Roll the intro!
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Let’s dive in!
As I mentioned in the intro to this video, there are several reasons why you may be interested in using your smartphone as a webcam. Doing so is actually fairly easy nowadays and the quality has improved drastically over the last year, however, I will say right away…it’s not perfect.
As of today using a normal webcam like the ever popular Logitech C920 is going to give you a better result than using your phone and will be less taxing on your system, however, maybe you don’t really have another option and you figure something…..is better than nothing… in which, I agree with you and say let’s do this thing!
It’s also important to note that the more horsepower your system has, the better this will work for you. Unfortunately using this takes up quite a bit of CPU processing power which is kinda detrimental to streamers to begin with. There is an option to decode with your GPU also, so honestly I’d recommend testing both and see which works best for your setup. Personally, I found using my CPU gave me the best results in terms of quality which is the default method of encoding.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is install software on your phone via your phone’s app store. For both Android and Apple, as of the time of this video, the best option I’ve found is iVCam. If that app doesn’t work for you, Iriun Webcam worked well for me as well, however, it lacks the features of iVCam.
Once you download the app on your smartphone, you’ll need to launch it which will then give you a URL to the software page to also download the software for your PC. You must have the software downloaded on both your smartphone and computer in order to use your phone as a webcam.
After installing the software on both devices you simply launch the software on both the computer and your smartphone. As long as you are connected to the same WiFi network, the software should connect automatically and you’ll instantly see video footage from your phone being displayed on your computer via the software installed on your computer.
The first thing you’ll notice is that while the quality looks pretty good, the video can be quite choppy depending on your machine and the horsepower running under the hood of both your computer and your smartphone.
You can change the resolution of the camera via your smartphone or via the app on the PC and it allows you to select any resolution your phone supports. Lowering this from to 1080p, 720p, or even lower can help a lot in terms of having a smooth video.
You can also adjust the framerate between 15fps and 60fps depending on what framerate you are streaming in through the app as well. Again, I can’t really give you specific settings to use, as it will depend entirely on your setup so I highly suggest doing a bit of testing yourself before actually going live using it as your webcam!
Once you figure out what settings work for your computer in terms of resolution and framerate we’ll need to add it as a source inside OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS.
Adding the camera as a source inside OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS is actually quite simple. When you load up your streaming software you’ll now be able to add a new Video Capture Device and under the Device drop down box you’ll see iVCam listed as an option. If you end up using a different app you’ll most likely see that apps name listed.
The great thing about the PC software is while the iVCam software has a preview window, you can safely X out of it and the drivers still run in the background allowing you to directly use it inside OBS or Streamlabs OBS without having to keep any additional windows open which would hog up more system resources. This is also true with the Iriun Webcam software I tested and I assume would be true with most others.
So with everything said and done, is this a viable option as a webcam for your livestream? Honestly, if you don’t have any other option, it works, however, there are a couple things I’d like to point out.
First and foremost, a webcam is much easier to deal with and the ever popular Logitech C920 only costs about $60 normally. Granted prices are a *cough* little high *cough* right now because of Covid-19 but for the price you can normally pick up this webcam, from all my tests, you’ll be much happier with the Logitech C920.
Also, I’d be nervous of running my phone for the hours and hours that a live stream normally lasts. Especially gaming streams. I’d be nervous of it running hot for long periods of time and also killing my battery faster as I’d be draining and recharging it constantly which could be detrimental to your phone’s battery.
So again, for the price of a C920 it just makes sense to start there and then work your way up from that point. If I had to choose between using my phone as my webcam or not having one. I’d get off my lazy gaming ass and go out and mow a couple lawns a buy a C920. But that’s just me!
Thanks so much for watching today’s video, if you enjoyed it don’t forget to hit that red subscribe button below as well as ring the bell next to it to be notified when I post new videos and once again if you have any additional questions, feel free to swing by my livestream and I’ll be happy to help! Link in the description below!
Until next time, peace out everybody!